Preston writer in running for top prize

Preston-born writer Milo Bell
Preston-born writer Milo Bell
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Lifting the lid on life in an hotel could land Milo Bell with a £10,000 nest egg.

For the Preston-born writer’s latest work is in the running for a top prize.

His play, Baggage, has been shortlisted for the Liverpool Hope Playwriting Prize, He is one of 10 contenders for the award, which is the UK’s second largest playwriting prize after the Bruntwood Prize.

Besides the £10,000 prize money, the winning writer’s work will be considered for production by the Royal Court Liverpool.

The writer said: “The first time I stepped on a stage was at the Royal Court in 1977 at a Youth Theatre festival.

“I’d come down with a troupe from Lancaster and we did Barry Keefe’s “Abide with me. If I had to say what inspired me, it would be two words - Alan Bleasdale.”

Judges include actress Kathy Burke, writer Frank Cottrell Boyce, playwright John Godber, critic Paul Allen, Royal Court Liverpool chief executive Kevin Fearon, drama academic Dr John Bennett, and arts editor Catherine Jones.

The comedy centres around four hotel workers, who spend the night shift waiting for a big shot TV producer.

Milo, who was born and raised in Preston, based it on his own experience of working as a porter in Manchester, which was when he started to write seriously.

After leaving school at 16, Milo, now 54, went to London to be an actor. He moved to Australia after meeting his wife before returning to the UK to work as a hotel porter in Manchester.

They went back to Australia then to London in 2009, where he is based.